GUIDELINES FOR SUPPORTING YOUR SWIMMER
. Help your child look beyond today and towards his or her goals.
Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. However, don't
exult too loud or too long over great results. That could signal
your child that he/she can best earn your love through sports
. Swimmers develop at different paces, but all swimmers need time.
No matter how your child seems to be doing in comparison to other
swimmers, don't push. When he or she is ready, the big improvement
will come. When they get in a slump, as all athletes do, they won't
need any extra help feeling poorly about their performances.
Never "bug" your swimmer about his or her swimming. It will only
irritate your child. Leave it to their coach to dissect the reasons
why his/her performance isn't up to par; you leaven it with love
Please make sure that your swimmers arrive to all practices and
meets on time. If your child is late, they will not benefit from
proper warm ups and/or miss receiving important communications from
BE A FOLLOWER, NOT A LEADER
. Your swimmer will perform as well as he or she wants to, not as
either you or the coaches want.
Let your child dream big dreams. Big dreams, whether they come true
or not, often lead to diligent and disciplined practice habits and
to giving full attention to a coach's instructions. Use
Olympic-size dreams to make gentle points about the work habits of
Encourage your child to play other sports at young ages. Experience
shows that pre-teen age group swimming success is short lived.
Ultimate swimming success at the highest levels stems from a wide
foundation in "motor programs."
Although swimming has strong individual elements, your child is,
most of all, part of a TEAM.
Teach your child the difference between critical instruction and
The single most important thing you can do for your child is to
help develop a strong sense of sportsmanship and positive
self-image. With your help this will be swimming's best benefit to
HOW TO BE A PERFECT SWIMMING PARENT
DON'T TRY TO TALK TO THE COACH DURING PRACTICE
Consider the pool deck a classroom. Would you interrupt a classroom
teacher in the middle of a lecture? If a coach is not talking to
the swimmers, they are thinking, watching and analyzing. If you
need to ask questions, please wait until practice time is over and
the swimmers have left the pool. The coaching staff will be glad to
talk with you when they can give their full and undivided
attention. (If a coach thinks he/she can and must talk with you
during practice, they will speak to you first.)
THE COACH IS THE COACH / TRUST YOUR COACH
We want your child to relate to his/her coach as soon as possible
concerning swimming competition, technique and training. The better
the relationship and bond between swimmer and coach, the better the
results will be. When parents interfere with opinions as to how the
child should swim it causes considerable confusion as to whom the
swimmer should listen to. The coach's job is to develop the
athlete. Their basic tool of evaluation is congratulations or
criticism based on performance. The parent's job is to grow a
healthy, functional individual with strong self-esteem. This will
develop out of the type of unconditional love that doesn't become
confused by sports performance.
If you choose to watch our practice sessions avoid the urge to
talk, signal, wave to or admonish your child while he/she is in a
practice. If you notice a problem, talk to their coach about it at
a later time. Avoid timing your child during practice. The repeat
times are something for the coach and the child to discuss. If your
child has a poor workout or meet, try to offer encouragement for
them to swim better at the next opportunity.
BE AS STRONG AS YOUR CHILD
Anything worthwhile usually means sacrifice and hard work. Avoid
complaining about the practice schedule your child logs every day.
When your child needs to be at morning practices during the school
year, wake up earlier than they do to get them ready. Make your
swimmer realize that you will support them in every way.
Above all, communicate. If you question any aspect of the swim
program, please make an appointment and discuss it with a
AT SWIM MEETS
Though parent participation is welcomed, parents should allow their
children to take an active role at swim meets. It is the
responsibility of the swimmer to ensure they swim their events and
talk to the coaches. Except for novice swimmers, parents should not
escort their children to the coaching area at a swim meet. Swim
meets are learning environments, it is important to allow swimmers
to navigate meets by themselves.
Parents should avoid discussing their child's performance with the
coach at a swim meet. Usually coaches are very busy coaching and
watching other athletes to carry on a discussion with parents. Try
to watch other swimmers on the team and get an idea of where they
are improving or what may appear to be common strengths or shared
skills. Never offer cash or elaborate gifts for swimming successes.
This will tell swimmers that their successes are about receiving a
material benefit rather than goal setting and achieving.
Often swimmers look towards parents as how to react after a swim.
Many parents tend to react negatively when a swimmer performs
poorly. A parent’s reaction to a performance also has an
effect on the swimmer. Try to be positive about a swimmer’s
performance regardless of their times. This way, swimmers will have
a positive attitude all the time.
A NOTE ABOUT BEST TIMES
When a child first starts swimming, it is usual for them to start
dropping time every time they swim. Their bodies are changing so
fast that drastic improvements are expected. However, as a swimmer
ages and starts swimming at higher levels, it becomes harder to
have such significant drops. For the senior swimmers it may take
months to experience even a drop of 1 second.
When Should We Think about Scholarships?
Going and looking for scholarships before high school is pointless.
Kids change their mind about sports and colleges every day. So,
wait until sophomore year of high school before even starting the
search. Towards the end of the junior year and the start of senior
year is the prime time to look for scholarships and the narrow down
possible colleges to attend.
Start to initiate contact in March and April of junior year by
visiting colleges, swimming websites and filling out
questionnaires. College coaches may send out school information,
but are not allowed to call you until after you have completed your
junior year. Even at meets, they cannot say more than
“hello” until after your last race of the meet.